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Local Red Cross heads to LA to help with floods

Posted at 10:29 PM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 23:29:36-04

The Red Cross quickly mobilized a national team to help with flood relief efforts after nearly three months' worth of rainfall drenched South Louisiana over the weekend, leaving entire communities under water. 

The massive relief effort will provide shelter, food, medical assistance and comfort to thousands affected. 

"When it's a bigger disaster like this one is, we pull the folks nationally if we need to, and Nebraska's always great about sending volunteers," says Gail Palmer, Disaster Program Manager for Nebraska Red Cross.

Palmer is one of several Nebraska volunteers traveling to Louisiana to help. 

"Every disaster is a little different but just seeing the destruction, no matter what the disaster is, it's just heart wrenching to see, that people have lost their homes. They have nothing and they're trying to rebuild," says Palmer.

The Nebraska team has sent 15 Red Crossers and three emergency vehicles to the flood area. More help from Nebraska should is expected to arrive Friday. 

Palmer says the local Red Cross gets much support from people in the area who want to help. 

"The support has been great. We've already heard of people that want to send down truckloads of clothing," says Palmer.

Palmers adds that while all donations are appreciated, in a disaster like this one, money helps more than donation items. 

"Money can do so much more. Everybody wants to give goods, which is great, but if you think about it, somebody has to sort through those goods, they have to unload them, they have to sort them, figure out where they’re going to put them for the people. And if the people are living in a shelter at the moment, they’re living in a 5 by 8 foot space. They don’t have a lot of room to put belongings like that. They don’t have somewhere to put canned goods," says Palmer. 

The Red Cross has set up nearly 50 Red Cross community shelters in Louisiana. The Red Cross has also mobilized 60 disaster response vehicles, 40,000 ready-to-eat meals and a couple dozen trailer loads of shelter and kitchen supplies. 

If you would like to volunteer or need more information on how to donate, visit the Red Cross website